New Home Listings Plunge as Pandemic Takes Hold

New listings across the U.S. have fallen off, down 27.1% year-over-year on April 5 as the coronavirus pandemic took hold, according to new research by Zillow. On a monthly basis, new listings in the U.S. have fallen 19% from the beginning of March.

In contrast, the number of new listings added to the market on March 1 was 17.3% higher than a year earlier. 

Meanwhile, total inventory has grown 2.5% since March 1, which indicates homes have been sitting on the market for longer while buyers have pulled back. In the Seattle metro, though, total inventory is up 37.7%.  

“It is clear that many would-be home sellers are adopting a wait-and-see approach as uncertainty continues to rule. Our understanding of U.S. economic conditions is changing weekly, if not daily, and early unemployment figures are striking, so it’s understandable that some are hesitant to put their home on the market,” said Skylar Olsen, senior principal economist at Zillow. “It is possible that this year’s busy home shopping season is pushed into winter as some opt to hang back but activity continues from those who need to buy or sell for a job move or another major life event. What’s not likely is that the bulk of potential home sellers and buyers simply throw up their hands and pull back from the market entirely.”

The greatest slowdowns in new listings since March 1 were seen in Detroit (down 61.8%), Pittsburgh (down 55.5%) and New York (down 49.1%). But new listings were actually up or flat in 12 of the 35 largest U.S. metros, led by Phoenix (up 18.3%), Atlanta (up 15.6%), Sacramento (up 13.7%) and Minneapolis-St. Paul (up 13.7%). Still, gains in each of these 12 metros were a minimum of 14.5 percentage points below average gains during this period in 2018 and 2019.

Metropolitan AreaYear-Over-Year
Change in New
Listings – March 1
Change in New
Listings – April 5
Change in New
Listings from
March 1 to April 5
Change in Total
Listings from
March 1 to April 5
United States17.3%-27.1%-19.0%2.5%
New York, NY14.1%-56.6%-49.1%-0.5%
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA8.7%-27.9%-19.1%-0.6%
Chicago, IL11.9%-38.8%-19.8%-1.9%
Dallas-Fort Worth, TX25.2%-17.2%-18.0%-1.1%
Philadelphia, PA12.2%-52.7%-42.6%-0.7%
Houston, TX6.8%-8.7%1.9%3.9%
Washington, DC15.7%-23.3%-4.8%12.8%
Miami-Fort Lauderdale, FL10.0%-22.8%-30.7%-1.6%
Atlanta, GA12.5%10.2%15.6%9.0%
Boston, MA24.5%-46.6%-26.2%7.0%
San Francisco, CA18.8%-36.4%-38.0%-7.9%
Detroit, MI39.0%-64.6%-61.8%-3.5%
Riverside, CA4.5%-11.7%-8.7%-0.3%
Phoenix, AZ5.6%-0.9%18.3%10.5%
Seattle, WA-0.5%-19.8%2.6%37.7%
Minneapolis-St Paul, MN43.4%-10.0%13.7%10.3%
San Diego, CA-4.2%-27.1%-9.5%12.8%
St. Louis, MO1.8%-30.4%-7.7%-0.7%
Tampa, FL15.4%-7.9%-7.9%3.5%
Baltimore, MD2.7%-34.0%-16.8%1.6%
Denver, CO13.3%-10.4%5.0%35.9%
Pittsburgh, PA34.7%-58.1%-55.5%-1.4%
Portland, OR13.1%-20.1%-12.8%29.4%
Charlotte, NC9.6%-18.2%-1.6%11.5%
Sacramento, CA33.7%-4.5%13.7%12.9%
San Antonio, TX13.0%-11.8%0.0%-0.7%
Orlando, FL7.4%-21.3%-1.5%3.9%
Cincinnati, OH-4.4%-17.7%6.4%2.2%
Cleveland, OH-20.4%-33.3%4.4%-1.2%
Kansas City, MO12.9%-35.7%-3.8%-0.2%
Las Vegas, NV9.4%-18.4%-12.2%21.7%
Columbus, OH15.8%-6.3%7.3%7.5%
Indianapolis, IN17.6%-21.4%-18.9%1.3%
San Jose, CA0.0%-25.4%-6.0%20.0%
Austin, TX20.2%13.5%12.8%17.2%